Interview: Eben Moglen
Posted Aug 11, 2005 18:50 UTC (Thu) by GreyWizard
In reply to: Interview: Eben Moglen
Parent article: Interview: Eben Moglen
a kernel module binary object couldn't be staticly linked into a kernel image, because it had the wrong entry points and such.
I don't think Moglen is thinking about statically linking the binary so much as the code itself. Surely code that can be linked with the rest of the kernel dynamically could also be linked statically without substantive changes. (Such changes might be substantial if the module interface is poorly desigined, but that doesn't mean they drastically alter the way the code works so they're not substantive.)
Furthermore, the common model is that the end user links the module into the kernel, creating a work that can't be legally distributed (but it can't really be moved out of RAM anyway). I don't see the runtime legal concerns as substantially legally different from userspace code.
This might make sense in technical terms, but not in a legal context. It's rather similar to the arguments Napster tried to use, isn't it? "We just tell the infringing users where to find one another. All the actual infringement is happening way over there, your honor." Grokster doesn't seem likely to get much further, even with a more technically interesting argument. As long as the law is sufficiently complex a judge who thinks you look naughty can usually find a way of arranging the legal furnature so that you lose.
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